AfDB President urges for more funding for African women at Global Gender Summit 2019
The 2019 Global Gender Summit, the first to be held on the continent, kicked off on Monday, November 25 in Rwanda's capital, Kigali with a strong call to surge ahead on gender issues and move from commitment to action.
The President of African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina has advocated for a much wider opening of funding for African women in a speech at the inaugural session of the Global Gender Summit on Monday.
The session entitled "Unlocking women's access to finance in Africa" included a panel of high-level speakers, including Salimata Diop Dieng, Senegal's Minister of Women, Family and Gender, Andrew Temu, President from the African Guarantee Fund, Kennedy Uzoka, Chief Executive Officer of United Bank of Africa (UBA), Joséphine Anan-Ankomah, Executive Director of Ecobank Group and Christine Ngiriye, Entrepreneur.
"When women borrow, they always pay back. And 80 percent of them manage to settle their debts each time, without any problem. Where is the risk? The problem is the rigidity of banks and prejudices. We have to get out of it to give women access to funding," urged President Akinwumi Adesina.
"It is important for financial institutions to support initiatives from women. They have market gardening perimeters, agricultural products to transform. They create start-ups in the areas of innovation. However, they lack resources, guarantee and procedures to access loans are complicated," said Salimata Diop Dieng.
"These women need rather moderate funding, just enough to create projects and jobs. They need support from the private sector and the banks to help them settle into the economic fabric," she added. For Christine Ngiriye, little has changed in almost 30 years, "the problem that arises, again and again, is a warranty problem."
The African Development Bank's Chief Akinwumi Adesina believes, for its part, that "let the risk issue drop. You have to see how you manage them and how you reduce them. It's a risk management issue. When financial companies lend money, they should establish rankings," suggested Adesina.
He felt that the financial sector has a responsibility towards African women. And he made an announcement: "Now, we are going to give ratings to all African financial institutions based on what they have done for women. All financial ecosystems must evolve in favor of women. And we will put pressure on the guarantee banks."
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